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NC State men's basketball vs. Louisville

ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,616PFN Referee
Coming off a pretty forgettable 3 day stretch that had a road loss to GT and a home loss to UNC, can NC State recover in a home game against Louisville?  NC State gets a chance to earn a critical quadrant 1 win that it badly needs to keep its currently slim NCAA hopes alive. 

The Pack currently sits 59th in the NCAA's NET, 56th in KenPom and 65th in the RPI (if you believe that one isn't quite dead).  Fundy was correct when he said the team was playing its way out of a NCAA bid.

All we know about the Pack really is that we don't know.  I think this has been one of the more frustrating seasons in my NC State basketball fandom (which stretches back almost 40 years) because we've had some much uncertainty.  Between injuries, chemistry, suspensions, it's been one hit after another.  It's hard to say what you're going to get out of NC State on any given evening, or even who is going to be healthy enough to play.  I don't see any of that changing between now and Saturday, so let's call NC State a big question mark.

What is the Pack up against? If we're honest, Louisville is a bit of a buzz saw (or at least as much as there is in this year's version of men's college basketball).  Here's some quick stats to highlight:
- Record: 17-3 (8-1 in the ACC)
- Coming in on a 6 game win streak which includes road wins at Duke, Pitt and Notre Dame. They get a chance to go for 7 in a row tonight at BC.
- Offensive efficiency: 19th
- Defensive efficiency: 10th
- Top 20 in defensive ability regarding opposition 3 point and 2 point shooting percentage.
- Top 10 in 3 point shooting percentage.
- Fairly low foul rate.
- Six out of the top seven players getting minutes are juniors or seniors.  This is an old team by college basketball's standards.
- KenPom and AP ranking in the top 10.  They're currently 12th in the NCAA's NET.
- All coached by one of the best in the game, Chris Mack.

If we're looking at any way State might have an edge, it is that Louisville's defense is fairly passive.  They're inside out and focusing on stopping opponents from getting good shots as opposed to turning them over. They also block a lower than average percentage of shots by the opponent. State should be able to work the ball around to try and generate good shots.  State also has to hope that Bryce regains his mid-range touch.

Fool's Gold for NC State would be settling for the "open" 3 point shot. The stats say that Louisville's opposition shots a very large percentage of their shots from the 3 point line. Louisville's big men are 6 ft 7, 6 ft 10 and 6 ft 11, so opponents tend to fire up 3 point looks.  They're shooting a low percentage on those 3 point attempts, so these shots are seemingly well covered.  Given State's shooting woes (the Pack are currently 233rd nationally in 3 point shooting %) and lack of height (UNC killed State on the glass), this seems like a quick way for NC State to shoot its way out of the game.

KenPom likes Louisville on the road by 4 and thinks the Pack has a 38% chance of winning.  It feels even lower to me.


Poll Time
  1. Who wins?23 votes
    1. NC State Wolfpack
      26.09%
    2. Louisville Cardinals
      73.91%
  2. Does CJ Bryce break out of his recent slump?23 votes
    1. Yes
      21.74%
    2. No
      78.26%
«134567

Comments

  • WulfpackWulfpack Posts: 1,870
    I think we are screwed in this one. 
  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 2,101
    I’ll take Louisville -12. 
  • freshmanin83freshmanin83 Posts: 1,387PFN Referee
    This would be the type of game they win to get expectations up and keep hope alive. 
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,616PFN Referee
    Texpack said:
    I’ll take Louisville -12. 
    That feels about right on a line.  
  • Vawolf82Vawolf82 Posts: 457PFN Referee
    If I get an ACC update out this week, it will contain the prediction that the next three weeks will define State's season (assuming that the last two games haven't already provided enough definition).    After L'ville, State has three road games (SYR, BC, and UM) then two home games against Duke and FSU.    

    State needs to be at least .500 over those six games with at least one win at home against the top of the ACC.    Do that, and the NCAAT is at least a possibility.   Fail...and the NIT represents a best case.
  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,315PFN Referee
    We'll likely keep it close for awhile.  I'll be tempted to turn teevee on.  Then, our collapse continues unabated.
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,616PFN Referee
    I have circled the same stretch of games.  I don't see how NC State makes the tournament unless they get healthy and considerably improve their level of play.


  • This will likely be the first big blowout of the year for us (20+).
  • Of course I mean blowout loss, not win 😀
  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,315PFN Referee
    I'd say we're about 50-60% likely to miss even the NIT.  I've seen teams that disintegrate into nothingness, and this is absolutely one of them.
  • SamIamSamIam Posts: 455
    ryebread said:
    I have circled the same stretch of games.  I don't see how NC State makes the tournament unless they get healthy and considerably improve their level of play.


    Do you mean get talented?  
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,616PFN Referee
    I'd say we're about 50-60% likely to miss even the NIT.  I've seen teams that disintegrate into nothingness, and this is absolutely one of them.
    It is sure trending that way, but I also try to remind myself that most of the players have been hurt multiple games.  Outside of DD and Fundy, I really can't point to a player who is 100% right now.

    There's a chance we could get things righted.  It's small though.
  • JpageJpage Posts: 84
    There is NO WAY Louisville will be subjected to a loss to the lame Wolfpack. They are so confident in the win it will be like a scrimmage. They will put on a clinic of athleticism and fast break above the rim play. They will be PREPARED and show you what a BB team looks like. I hope we don’t embarrass our selves further with any NIT -BS. 
  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 2,101
    When Hellems had his really good stretch before he got hurt, this team had real tournament potential.  It’s been steadily downhill from there. The listless performances really are easier to explain if there is drama in progress on this team. That makes me believe that the beat downs we are going to take from Louisville and Duke will dissolve the threads that may still be holding the team together. If Keatts can bring them together, it might be a turning point for his tenure but I’m not holding my breath. 
  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 2,016
    edited January 30
    ryebread said:
    Coming off a pretty forgettable 3 day stretch that had a road loss to GT and a home loss to UNC, can NC State recover in a home game against Louisville?  NC State gets a chance to earn a critical quadrant 1 win that it badly needs to keep its currently slim NCAA hopes alive. 

    The Pack currently sits 59th in the NCAA's NET, 56th in KenPom and 65th in the RPI (if you believe that one isn't quite dead).  Fundy was correct when he said the team was playing its way out of a NCAA bid.

    All we know about the Pack really is that we don't know.  I think this has been one of the more frustrating seasons in my NC State basketball fandom (which stretches back almost 40 years) because we've had some much uncertainty.  Between injuries, chemistry, suspensions, it's been one hit after another.  It's hard to say what you're going to get out of NC State on any given evening, or even who is going to be healthy enough to play.  I don't see any of that changing between now and Saturday, so let's call NC State a big question mark.

    What is the Pack up against? If we're honest, Louisville is a bit of a buzz saw (or at least as much as there is in this year's version of men's college basketball).  Here's some quick stats to highlight:
    - Record: 17-3 (8-1 in the ACC)
    - Coming in on a 6 game win streak which includes road wins at Duke, Pitt and Notre Dame. They get a chance to go for 7 in a row tonight at BC.
    - Offensive efficiency: 19th
    - Defensive efficiency: 10th
    - Top 20 in defensive ability regarding opposition 3 point and 2 point shooting percentage.
    - Top 10 in 3 point shooting percentage.
    - Fairly low foul rate.
    - Six out of the top seven players getting minutes are juniors or seniors.  This is an old team by college basketball's standards.
    - KenPom and AP ranking in the top 10.  They're currently 12th in the NCAA's NET.
    - All coached by one of the best in the game, Chris Mack.

    If we're looking at any way State might have an edge, it is that Louisville's defense is fairly passive.  They're inside out and focusing on stopping opponents from getting good shots as opposed to turning them over. They also block a lower than average percentage of shots by the opponent. State should be able to work the ball around to try and generate good shots.  State also has to hope that Bryce regains his mid-range touch.

    Fool's Gold for NC State would be settling for the "open" 3 point shot. The stats say that Louisville's opposition shots a very large percentage of their shots from the 3 point line. Louisville's big men are 6 ft 7, 6 ft 10 and 6 ft 11, so opponents tend to fire up 3 point looks.  They're shooting a low percentage on those 3 point attempts, so these shots are seemingly well covered.  Given State's shooting woes (the Pack are currently 233rd nationally in 3 point shooting %) and lack of height (UNC killed State on the glass), this seems like a quick way for NC State to shoot its way out of the game.

    KenPom likes Louisville on the road by 4 and thinks the Pack has a 38% chance of winning.  It feels even lower to me.


    What a wonderful writeup....  Well researched and well presented.  Having watched the the last 5 season of Downton Abbey....almost binge watching....I have but one thing to add...

    You sir, sound like the Trumpeter on the highest pinnacle of the most royal moral high ground....and for that you are to be praised and commended....

    Rather.....I KNEW that sometime that I would find a perfect opportunity to render that phrase to a resourceful and deserving chap.....and you, sir, are the one....
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,616PFN Referee
    Texpack said:
    When Hellems had his really good stretch before he got hurt, this team had real tournament potential.  It’s been steadily downhill from there. The listless performances really are easier to explain if there is drama in progress on this team. That makes me believe that the beat downs we are going to take from Louisville and Duke will dissolve the threads that may still be holding the team together. If Keatts can bring them together, it might be a turning point for his tenure but I’m not holding my breath. 
    That’s kind of how I see it as well.

    Roo: Thanks for the kind words.
  • Texpack said:
    When Hellems had his really good stretch before he got hurt, this team had real tournament potential.  It’s been steadily downhill from there. The listless performances really are easier to explain if there is drama in progress on this team. That makes me believe that the beat downs we are going to take from Louisville and Duke will dissolve the threads that may still be holding the team together. If Keatts can bring them together, it might be a turning point for his tenure but I’m not holding my breath. 
    Getting tougher to do so, but I remember that flash of play from Hellems and it gave me the same feeling.  Can almost say the same about Fundy, Bryce and even Bates at times and for small stretches.

    Feels like lots have guys have had some flashes and then faded for one reason or another.

    This is what has been so frustrating for me.  This isn't a team that lacks any talent, just a team that lacks any sense of team.

    We can blame KK and we can blame the players.  At this point I just want to see flashes of mediocrity.

    We may see that against Louisville. If we don't, I can't see us making it happen, even though the opportunity will still be there.
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,616PFN Referee
    Before each player (Hellems, Bryce, Bates) got hurt, they were all giving us valuable contribution consistent with their playing time on a NCAA tournament quality team. Since their injuries, they've not come back the same.  If those three were playing at that level, we'd be in good shape for making the tournament.

    I think Beverley has likely never been healthy all year.  Markell's shot has been broken all year.  If those two were giving us what we got from them last year, we'd be in good shape for the tournament.

    If Hellems, Bryce and Bates were all at pre-injury form AND MJ and Bev were playing like last year, this is a top 4 ACC team and a legit top 25 team.  That's kind of what I expected this year, but it just hasn't come to fruition.

    We've had knock after knock this year and are headed in the wrong direction.  Take a blow out or two and we may fall off a cliff.

    I agree with Tex that this is a potential inflection point for KK.  If he can rally this gang, I would feel much better.
  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,315PFN Referee
    Beverly is also a player, even when healthy, who would be more effective in limited doses.

    This roster just needs massive turnover, and more numbers to work.

    Problem is, we are so low on the totem pole now, nobody wants to come here unless they are going to be assured of starting.  It's a vicious cycle, no idea how we break it.
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,616PFN Referee
    BJD: Yep. Bev's minutes should have been reduced down to microwave scorer.  It didn't happen and obviously couldn't happen this year.

    We need 2x the bodies, and to have them all healthy.  That'd allow us to use people more aligned to their skills and the right roles.

    We also need more shooters.  It is very tough to play 4 around 1 when you can't shoot.

    While I would argue the offense often doesn't generate good looks, even when we do get them, a lot of times we miss badly.  We're going to need better shooters to play this style. 

    Unfortunately high motor athletes who can also shoot are the unicorns that everyone is chasing.  As you say, the only way to land them is to promise major PT.  That comes with other issues.
  • RickRick Posts: 1,893PFN Referee
    I have termed our offense the "pick and brick" 
  • RickRick Posts: 1,893PFN Referee
    I keep hearing about how KK needs 10+ players that are the right type to run his system.
    It concerns me when a system has to have such a specific number and type of player as it is almost impossible in the "transfer protocol" generation to keep 10+ players happy. 
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,616PFN Referee
    Rick: Your name for the O is hilarious.

    I too share the concern regarding the bodies needed to make this work.  It feels like a great system if you can have a talent advantage over the other teams in your league.  It would lead to overwhelming teams (ah la some of those Arkansas 40 minutes of hell teams). For a team trying to move up in the league, it might be tough.
  • Rick said:
    I have termed our offense the "pick and brick" 
    Well done, Sir!
  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,315PFN Referee
    It's very hard to keep energy levels high (as Keatts especially needs) and to be able to make coaching points - without at least 8 or 9 "heavy rotation" guys.  And we don't even have that many SCHOLARSHIP ATHLETES available, most games.

    I'm not saying it's an easy problem to solve, by any means.  I just increasingly feel like we are boned for the foreseeable future.
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